iPad vs. MacBook: Does the new iPad Pro have the potential to replace the MacBook Air?

1. 01. 2024 | Natalie Bezděková

In 2021, Apple introduced the M1 chip, originally available only in the latest Mac models, for iPad Pro. This news caused a wave of excitement, but now, several years later, the question is timely: Does the new iPad have the potential to replace the MacBook?

I, a longtime iPad fan, welcomed the move. iPads have never been behind in performance, but the addition of the M1 chip has seemingly added a new dimension. However, Apple subsequently took time to introduce tools like Logic Pro and Final Cut in 2023.

Years later, we now ask, are we any closer to the iPad replacing the Mac? The answer depends on your usage, but we’ve never been closer – and I’m considering it.

I can’t forget my bias in favor of the iPad. I’ve loved Apple tablets since 2011, and have turned that passion into a career writing about a device that sometimes seems like the forgotten relative in the Apple family of products.

I myself own an iPad Pro with the M2 (12.9 inches), which on paper is most similar to a laptop (especially with the Magic Keyboard).

This love of the iPad and willingness to overlook its shortcomings makes me more open to the idea of switching from macOS to iPad. But can it be done? That depends on your needs. The iPad can be just about everything for everyone – from scientific research to FaceTime calls with Grandma.

This has always made it difficult to identify the iPad’s target audience and created a confusing product line. There’s the iPad Air with M1, an ideal choice for most, but already somewhat outdated. Conversely, the more powerful and more expensive iPad Pro was unexpectedly updated last year. The iPad Mini, which should be the best, remains unchanged. And on the shelves are the 9th and 10th generation iPads, awaiting their fate.

This whole situation complicates the process of switching from Mac to iPad. But what if there was an iPad Pro with an M3 chip? While not confirmed, could it be your MacBook Air successor?

After a long introduction to this topic, we have to ask: Could the M3 iPad be the right replacement for my MacBook? My workflow involves writing in Drafts, working in Chrome-based CMS, Slack, and email applications.

On paper, these are all things that can be expected on iPadOS. The M2 iPad Pro continues to offer the flexibility to write and record anywhere.

However, I do more than that on the Mac. While photo editing is more enjoyable on a tablet, audio editing with multiple cables and adapters becomes cluttered.

Apple spent little time on Stage Manager at this year’s WWDC, but the multitasking innovations are interesting. The biggest dilemma for the iPad, however, lies in tools and utilities.

The advent and development of Shortcuts moves things in the right direction, but the iPad needs more options for creating than just installing apps. While the MacBook remains essential for me for some tasks, the iPad Pro with the M3 chip could be the right choice for many. Long live the workflow revolution!

Photo source: www.pexels.com

Author of this article

Natalie Bezděková

I am a student of Master's degree in Political Science. I am interested in marketing, especially copywriting and social media. I also focus on political and social events at home and abroad and technological innovations. My free time is filled with sports, reading and a passion for travel.


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